So here we are now at 6,200 feet enjoying incredibly mild weather yearlong, a severe drought and growing water shortage, unrestrained development, and a once-exuberant city that has almost withered away under the relentless grind of Covid restrictions.
Signs of life are returning to San Miguel de Allende.
Of all the words to describe this peculiar existence we are in today, I have the most trouble with “quarantine.” I simply can not recall this word when describing how we are living these days.
It is blocked from my memory. Unlike the actual quarantine which we live minute by minute in our homes.
Ah well, I’m not here to summarize 2020 — nor analyze. I can offer no grand insights, survival tip, recipes, bromides, earned wisdom, nor life lessons. It happened. It ran over us and didn’t even honk the horn or stomp on the brakes. There were no skid marks. We just took the full brunt of its force.
And here we are. Hello, 2021. Show us what you’ve got.
Well, thank god that’s over. The year, I mean. 2020.
I’ve had just about enough of it and I suspect you have too. Not that 2021 will start off so terribly different. Well, there is the regime change, an inauguration, and the eradication of four years of shitty people running the country.
It will take time, lots of vaccinations, still more wine than we should be consuming, and a Democratic majority in Congress — up to you, Georgia.
A pandemic of new murals all over San Miguel de Allende, many with iconic images from pop culture and high art, carry a simple message: Put on a mask.
If Frida, Vincent van Gogh, Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” Klimt’s stylish “Lady in Gold,” and da Vinci’s mysterious “Mona Lisa” and her Botero-esque alter-ego can put on masks — and look fabulous — so can we.
That’s the hope, anyway, of the city’s Directorate for Culture and Tradition which has sponsored the creation of the 10 murals.
I’d like you to meet Wally, full name Wallace George Hawkins. He was born on Saturday at 6:54 p.m. in Kaiser Hospital, San Diego, weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
Mother, Larisa, and father, Ryan, are as over the moon — as we are!
Wally and parents were home by Sunday evening and Wally got to meet his big brother, Augie.
Ryan is my second-oldest son, born between Brendan and Christopher. Wally joins three grandsons — Brody (Brendan and Cami), Tallac (Chris and Katie), and of course big brother, Augie (pictured above).
+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++
As one of eight brothers and one sister, to me the production of sons and grandsons seems a foregone conclusion although some of my brothers and their wives, somehow, have brought daughters into this world.
There is nothing like a new-born baby to remind you of how unique, amazing and beautiful is every child. This has to be my all-time favorite miracle available on this planet.
Rose Alcantara and I are so filled with joy.
Rose right away suggested sending flowers and naturally found just the right bouquet on Amazon. I think they are arriving today (Tuesday). Say what you will, this is an amazing world.
I bought a second gift for the family — a non-contact, infrared, instant-read thermometer — bundled with 50 disposable face masks. Just seems like a gift for these days, especially with the inevitable number of visitors they will likely get.
Now comes the tricky part: how to schedule a visit to meet Wally in person in this wild and crazy Covid world. I’m looking forward to crossing at Tijuana and isolating for two weeks in San Diego before Wally and I get to hang out.
It makes sense, too, once “certified” COVID-free, to drive to Northern California to visit with Brody and Tallac and their parents while already in the States.
Not the family reunion we were all talking about at the beginning of the year but this is love and joy and family in the new reality.
A curator searches through his or her museum’s basements, files, archives, vaults, hallways, and subterranean sanctorums in search of pieces that support an important theme or idea.
The hope is that, as a whole, a curated show will tell a story or bolster an idea. A curated show is more than a theme — say for example, pictures with something red in them.
There is no doubt that during self-isolation, we have changed. As our lives slowed down, our perception has improved. I dare say that we are all seeing, feeling, hearing, loving, fearing in ways our previously busy, noisy, distracting, and demanding lives would not permit.
Miss me? These days you can’t say “I am sick” without sending tremors through the universe. But now I can say, “I was sick, for a couple of days.” Whatever the symptoms, they did not add up to COVID 19.
I was just sick. And now I’m better and life goes on and gratitude pours in to fill the void.
As many of you know, when you are sick, you basically do nothing. So, since I sense you don’t want unnecessary detail on nose-blowing and sneezing, let’s say I did nothing of note (“Honk!” … sorry) on Monday and Tuesday.
Decontamination crews are spraying down the streets of San Miguel de Allende today. The visuals alone ought to drive the doubters indoors. (Photograph by John Bohnel)
So, Mexico entered Phase 2 on Tuesday. While the president still hugs and kisses the babies and young girls, his Health secretary has called for restaurants and casinos to be closed, for public gatherings to disperse — you know, the same stuff we have been doing in San Miguel for a couple of weeks now.
Only, a lot less.
Phase 2 is clinically called the “community transmission phase.”
Phase 2 feels like Mom calling the kids inside to safety — after it starts raining. The kids have been playing outside, conscious of the dark clouds building. Continue reading →